Thursday, April 18, 2013

New Tools

I've been having a hard time getting my Bohemian Stripe quilted, mainly because I don't have a good way to mark on dark fabric. My usual method is a sliver of Ivory soap, which works great, but rubs off easily. So I can only mark two or three lines at a time. It is frustrating to have to stop and take the quilt back to my basting tables (so I don't have to crawl around on the floor) and mark the next few lines. Everything else I have either rubs off too easily, doesn't mark well enough on an already basted quilt or won't show up on the dark brown fabrics.

So I'm trying a new-to-me white marking pen.

At one time these pens were the most returned item at my LQS. Why? Because when you first mark with it you can not see what you have just drawn. You have to wait one or two minutes for the "ink" to dry before it will show up. I put "ink" in quotation marks because I have no idea what chemical substance is actually in this pen. I didn't take a picture with the cap off, but it does look like a ball point pen.

I wrote my name on the little scrap of solid black fabric. You may have to click on the picture to enlarge it so you can see it. The lines are hard to photograph, but I will have no trouble seeing them well enough to quilt them. Yay! I think this is the solution for me and this Bohemian Stripe quilt. I hope to get the rest of the lines marked soon then I will be able to just quilt.

By the way, the packaging says that the "ink" will disappear with heat (that is, iron over it) or when washed. I haven't tested the washing part, but my name did vanish immediately once I hit it with a hot iron and did not return once the fabric cooled. I have not tried putting it in the freezer to see if that will make it come back. I plan to wash this quilt once it is finished so hopefully that will remove all traces of this "ink" from the quilt.

Edited to add later this morning: I just tried to continue marking and now the pen is not working. I have waited 5 minutes and the marks are not showing up. I am trying the recommendations that came with the packaging. So far, no luck. Do not rush out and buy one of these pens just yet! I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

I also decided it was time for a new pair of machine quilting gloves. My preferred brand is Machingers.

Believe it or not, the old ones were just washed and they still look really grubby next to the new ones.


Mama Pea said...

My gloves are getting a little grubby, too.

I have tried that pen and threw it away because it didn't make good marks. Maybe I never waited long enough! Good to know! haha!

West Michigan Quilter said...

Your gloves are really getting a work out! I don't like that pen either. I got a light and a dark Frixion pen today and am going to try those. I'll let you know what happens.

Paula, the quilter said...

I found this online & I wonder if by oil soap they mean Murphy's Oil Soap will work?

Hand wash in cool water with mild detergent. Dry flat. Do not tumble dry or iron.

With extended use, lint and excess fabric dye may accumulate on fingertip coating. To renew grip, gently rub oil soap or saddle soap on fingertip coating, then wash according to care instructions.